Dear friends in Christ
During Eastertide, everything in the liturgy and the Readings speaks to us about an upbeat early Christian community; it speaks to us of hope and optimism and how despite all of the difficulties the first Christian communities experienced, they persevered with strong faith in Christ. Our Lord says that there are many rooms in my Father’s house. This itself is a reassurance to us. Everything that goes wrong in the world and in our individual lives can be traced to an absence of God. Not that God is absent - He is always present everywhere – but that he is not brought into where we are and what we do. When God is made present by us, when faith is lived and made manifest, things change because hope and optimism become present. As members of the Christian Faith - the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ - we are all of us, interdependent on one another.
For the first Christians, the place where Jesus was encountered, and the place where others were introduced to Him was in the groups of believers that existed after Easter. It was always through this personal contact with the Risen Jesus. Today this has to be the same, except that a lot of people have difficulties equating the presence of Jesus with the institution we call Church. We have to believe that in spite of her many blemishes and imperfections, the Church is the Body of Christ, not just symbolically, but virtually biologically, since we are bound to one another through the Sacraments in ties deeper than blood-relationships. As Blessed John Henry Newman wrote in his hymn: And I hold in veneration, for the love of Him who died, Holy Church as His creation, and Her teachings as His own.
On Monday, over forty of us of the Parish Family, will depart on pilgrimage to Lourdes. We carry all of you with us as we go to spend time in that place where Mary leads us to Jesus. God bless you all and please pray for us too!
Fr Kevin Hale